United States District Court, D. Colorado
GREGORY LASHER, as lineal heir to Liam N. McDougal-Lasher deceased, Plaintiff,
REED G. WIPPERFURTH, Defendant.
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN
CHRISTINE M. ARGUELLO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Plaintiff's Motion in Limine (Doc. # 31),
wherein Plaintiff Gregory Lasher, lineal heir to decedent
Liam McDougal-Lasher, requests that this Court exclude
certain evidence from trial. Defendant Reed Wipperfurth
objects to the motion (Doc. # 33), and for the following
reasons, the Court denies it.
brings one claim for relief against Defendant: wrongful
death. (Doc. # 1.) That claim stems from an accident in June
2016 where 11-year-old Liam, while crossing Saguache County
Road LL6, was struck and killed by a vehicle driven by
Defendant. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that the fatality
was caused by Defendant's negligent and reckless conduct.
(Doc. # 1 at 1-2.) Defendant denies any fault for the
accident and claims that Liam suddenly and unexpectedly ran
from the side of the road in front of Defendant's
vehicle, causing the crash. (Doc. ## 9; 39 at 3.)
Parties are set for a four-day jury trial to begin on
November 5, 2018. In anticipation of trial, Plaintiff filed
the instant motion, wherein he requests the exclusion of (1)
the non-party status of Ashley Snyder, Liam's mother; and
(2) the concluding portion of Defendant's expert Dr.
Laura Rieffel's report, wherein she discusses Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and related mortality
rates. As explained below, the Court disagrees that exclusion
is warranted in either instance.
NON-PARTY STATUS OF ASHLEY SNYDER
Court denies as premature Plaintiff's first request
regarding the non-party status of Ashley Snyder. Defendant
has not designated Ms. Snyder as a non-party. Nor is there
any indication from Defendant's response to
Plaintiff's motion that they intend to so designate or to
refer to Ms. Snyder as such. To the extent Plaintiff requests
the exclusion of any mention of Ms. Snyder at all, the Court
denies that request. Defendant's defense appears to be,
in part, that Liam unexpectedly ran across the road to return
to Ms. Snyder, his mother, when the car struck him. Her
presence under those circumstances is relevant to the issues
in this lawsuit and references to Ms. Snyder generally will
not, therefore, be excluded from trial.
EXPERT REPORT OF DR. LAURA RIEFFEL
Court also denies Plaintiff's request to exclude Dr.
Rieffel's challenged opinion at trial.
reaching this conclusion, the Court was guided by Fed.R.Evid.
702, which imposes on it a gatekeeper obligation to
“ensure that any and all scientific testimony or
evidence admitted is not only relevant, but reliable.”
Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms., Inc., 509 U.S. 579,
589 (1993). Rule 702 provides that a witness who is qualified
as an expert by “knowledge, skill, experience,
training, or education” may testify if:
(a) the expert's scientific, technical, or other
specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to
understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue;
(b) the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data;
(c) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and